TED Conversations

Mitch SMith


This conversation is closed.

Syria: What is the core principle?

I have a friend who is a Syrian ex-pat.
He runs a grocery store in my town and I meet him almost every day.
When the Syrian conflict started getting bad I asked him about it. He said:

"We have a saying - when elephants fight, the grass is killed".

He went on to say: "I have a brother in a town that is at risk .. I plan to go in through Turkey and get him out of there." .. He has not been able to do that yet. And he explained to me the factional power that most Syrians understand .. the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Alawi .. but there are also Druze, Coptics etc etc..

And now, the USA wants to throw bombs to destroy critical infrastructure - regardless of who gets killed in the process.

This is a subject that is so complex that no one can really know what is happening.

My question to the TED community is this:

What is the basic principle?

My friend alludes to elephants and grass .. that seems basic.

Is there any other reliable abstract to be had?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 21 2013: Good question. Implies the obvious answer: making a kind of fetiish of preserving "Failed States" such as Syria and Iraq is a big mistake, Such states are invariably "Diverse" meaning that they have significant minorities who hate each other enough to kill, . It usually turns out that some ingenious Inperialist or Monarch thought it would be terribly clever to make a so-called Nation in such a way , so that it could always be cheaply controlled , by Foreigners.
    • thumb
      Sep 23 2013: So very true. Try running a business. Controlling what happens in the process of production is exceptionally complex & often quite expensive. So some discovered how to take control and take it cheap: at the price of blood.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.